The great RBS IT clusterfuck: the truth slowly emerges.......

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#2
Sounds about right. We (not RBS) outsourced our IT Application Management to Accenture in India last year.

The joys of speaking to someone who can't understand English very well and struggles with our historic system architecture far outweighs talking to someone who has worked with the systems for a decade.

The time difference is also lovely when trying to get fund pricing and static data reports first thing in the morning (UK) when it's dark o'clock on the subcontinent.
 
#3
To be fair, when its morning in the UK, it is midday on the subcontinent. It really depends on the kind of money spent. While I appreciate that the main (-only) aim for outsourcing is to safe money, you do find all kinds of service levels are available IF you pay for them. I have lead an outsourcing project many years ago and while it had its hick ups, it was a success and is still going 11 years on. Service at UK banks is fecking appauling these days, you might as well not bother answering phones, you never get the information you are looking for, so i dont blame them for wanting to pay less for crap service.

On a more cheerful note, what are the odds RBS 'forget' that i owe them a few hundred thousand quid on an outstanding mortgage? That would b a worth while IT error!
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#5
How soon before the bank is talking of a rogue operator? He / she breached protocol, was not workng to procedures and the management simply did nt know that such activity was going on, for surely if they had they would have stopped it.

And much more of the same until we almost believe them?
 
#6
On a more cheerful note, what are the odds RBS 'forget' that i owe them a few hundred thousand quid on an outstanding mortgage? That would b a worth while IT error!
We had lost that one, thanks for the heads up.
 
#7
Lowest possible employee, located nearest to the incident, equating quality of outcome with quality of process, stacks of hindsight bias. **** me, there's a PhD in this.... no, er, wait....

m-s-r
 

walkyrie

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#8
Its only their front of house that's fixed.

I phoned one of their back office teams today and was told rather abruptly not to bother calling back until Monday.
 
#9
Would it have made any difference if the dev team were in the UK. I doubt it.

Outsourcing is going to get blamed for this - the reality is that there are lots of moving parts and one went wrong. The real issue could be in design, build or (most likely) in test. I'd be looking to see how much time and budget went into unit and system test - not enough by the looks of things!
 
#10
I wouldn't be surprised they've been hacked. Even i know how to back up stuff. Just saying like as it wouldn't do for banks to be known as infallible would it?
 
#11
My mums loosing her job at RBS because her department is being outsourced to India, she shall be tickled by this news!
 
#12
Not had one call from India saying they can fix my computer errors this week. I think they are busy.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#13
Lowest possible employee, located nearest to the incident, equating quality of outcome with quality of process, stacks of hindsight bias. **** me, there's a PhD in this.... no, er, wait....

m-s-r
My mind drifts back, back... to 2007 and HMRC losing data on 25m citizens. According to Chief Tosspot Alistair Darling they had top encryption and procedures in place. It was all down to Stan in Dispatch who chucked the disks on a bike. And they vanished. Nowt to do with Darling laying off 25,000 HMRC staff and running the job on an IT system that could double as a prop for Star Trek.

No. Stan in Dispatch. It's probably his lad Stanrish in Hyderabad who is responsible for this failure to obey orders.
 
#14
It's not just the banks. BT has embraced both outsourcing and insourcing with vigour. Insourcing is bringing Indian staff into the UK to work under Indian terms and conditions.

I once met an insourced Oracle DBA who was, in theory, in charge of fixing anything that went wrong in a huge, BT data centre. She was just out of college, on less than minimum wage and freely admitted that she had never logged in to an Oracle database in her life.

The same outsourcing company ran the payroll system for a well known FTSE100 firm. When it went tits up one Sunday afternoon, they went through 7 levels of escalation and not one person answered the phone. The issue was only resolved because the UK CEO happened to have the home phone number of the Indian CEO and dragged him out of his bed.

Employers who think they can get skilled staff for 500 quid a month deserve everything that happens to them.
 
M

mogwaimarshall

Guest
#15
It's not just the banks. BT has embraced both outsourcing and insourcing with vigour. Insourcing is bringing Indian staff into the UK to work under Indian terms and conditions.

I once met an insourced Oracle DBA who was, in theory, in charge of fixing anything that went wrong in a huge, BT data centre. She was just out of college, on less than minimum wage and freely admitted that she had never logged in to an Oracle database in her life.

The same outsourcing company ran the payroll system for a well known FTSE100 firm. When it went tits up one Sunday afternoon, they went through 7 levels of escalation and not one person answered the phone. The issue was only resolved because the UK CEO happened to have the home phone number of the Indian CEO and dragged him out of his bed.

Employers who think they can get skilled staff for 500 quid a month deserve everything that happens to them.[/QUwhen it goes wrong its never in our favour. For once.wake up tommorrow Korney with £260000 sitting in the account no idea how it Got there and when you phone the bank they tell you.yes sir that is your correct balance.ok thankyou. I would be of like a shot to spend it. Or they somehow lose all data regarding mortgage payments for the entire country and everybody owing nothing. Debt crisis sorted in fell swoop.
 
#16
I know nothing about computers but I've often wondered whether it would be possible to outsource physical work on the internet. The first law of robotics is that it's dead easy to design a machine to do a particular job: mobile security guard, shopping centre shelf stacker, apple picker, assembly line worker. The second law of robotics is that it's bloody expensive to write the programs to do even the most simple of real time jobs reliably.

So why not connect the machines to the net and let third world workers do the menial jobs in the first world countries? Immigration workers without any immigration. You'd think the capitalist system would go for that in a big way. Is it technical possible? No idea but in a world where a surgeon can operate by remote control on a patient on the other side of the world it doesn't seem impossible.
 
#17
I'm just imagining a surgeon operating by remote control over the internet. Ever tried Skype? I wouldn't fancy the surgeon's knife hacking away at my gizzards every time the connection froze or was buffering. You would be taking my guts home ready-diced in a carrier bag...
 
#18
"It was the fault of an inexperienced, junior employee." Hmmmm....Princess Productions springs to mind.
 
#19
My mind drifts back, back... to 2007 and HMRC losing data on 25m citizens. According to Chief Tosspot Alistair Darling they had top encryption and procedures in place. It was all down to Stan in Dispatch who chucked the disks on a bike. And they vanished. Nowt to do with Darling laying off 25,000 HMRC staff and running the job on an IT system that could double as a prop for Star Trek.

No. Stan in Dispatch. It's probably his lad Stanrish in Hyderabad who is responsible for this failure to obey orders.
I was expecting it all to be the fault of a trainee assistant called Lucy...

IT workers anywhere could have done a duff update and had a glitch in the system as a result, however, when you've sacked all the experienced people and sent their jobs halfway round the world, there's nobody with the experience in place to deal with the problem there and then, which is why in this case it ended up taking three days.

Though now I'm sure that the Board will deal with this by outsourcing the outsourced work, only this time to Bangladesh or possibly China, and buying themselves a Bentley with the money thus saved.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#20
T Service at UK banks is fecking appauling these days, you might as well not bother answering phones, you never get the information you are looking for, so i dont blame them for wanting to pay less for crap service.
Not with First Direct. I do the majority of my banking online but if I need to speak to a person the phone is answered in Leeds or Motherwell by someone who can either answer my query or pass me to someone who can & who is also based in the UK.
 

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